Types of visa in Hong Kong
Famed for being the business hub of Asia, Hong Kong is the perfect place to start, expand, or grow your business into. The country provides everything an entrepreneur would dream of. The amazing tax rates, the supportive government, the trade routes to China, competitive labor costs and so on. All these make it hard for business from all over the world to make their way into Hong Kong. On the other hand, Hong Kong is quite often forgotten to be a great tourist attraction as well. Hundreds of tourists fly each year to come down to Hong Kong and see this spectacular city.
With so many different kinds of people coming into Hong Kong for various purposes, issuing visas become a significant job for the government. There are several types of visas that can be issued in Hong Kong. Hong Kong has an agreement with 145 different countries which helps the people from those nations to enter Hong Kong without any visa. If you are not from one of those 145 countries then you will need a visa based on your purpose of visit.
As my earlier discussion, several countries are allowed to enter into Hong Kong without a visa mean spot visa includes UK, Australia, and France, U.S.A, Italy, Spain, Singapore, and Germany. The duration of their visit can be between 7 to 180 days. However, if your country is not one of the 145 countries with whom Hong Kong has an agreement with then you need to obtain a visit visa. This is more or less the tourist visa we hear often about. In order to get it, one has to apply to the Chinese Embassy or consulate in your home country. Once applied, the processing may take up to four weeks depending on how busy the Embassy is.
Probably the most common forms of visa issued by the Hong Kong government, the work visa is heavily sought out by foreigners since so many businesses are being expanded over there. In order to get the employment visa, however, one has to get their employer apply for it. The entire application is filled out and applied by the company who is hiring. The company or the employer who is sponsoring the said employee will have to prove that the employee has all the sufficient skills for the said job and that nobody from Hong Kong could actually do it. The visa immigration authorizes will look into the employee’s education, job experience, and other factors.
The company who will be applying for you will also need to show evidence of confirmed offer of employment, remuneration package as well as accommodation, medical insurance and other benefits provided by the company. Once all these are provided, the application process takes up to 4 to 6 weeks to process after which the applicant can start working. These work visas usually have the duration of 2 years after which they can be easily renewed. If you end up leaving the job or move to another company then you will need to apply for another work visa following the same process.
Similar to work visas, student visas are also applied by the institute which has accepted the student into their university, school or college. The student will need to provide all the documents to the institute and they will apply for the student visa on the student’s behalf. The processing period is also very short for such visas.
This is the kind of visa one would require if they are self-employed. In other words, if you are looking to start a business in Hong Kong or looking to invest in somebody else’s business then investment visa is for you. The requirement for this type of visa is completely different. It requires a huge load of paperwork which includes your educational background, professional experience, as well as your potential business activities, the capital needed, and the details of the jobs your investment will likely create. A lot of processing and screening is done before this kind of visa is issued. So if you are planning on applying for an investment visa, make sure all the detailed paperwork is ready and that you have sufficient time on your hand.
A permanent residency visa is only given out to people who have lived in Hong Kong for seven years or more. You will need to provide your employment records in order to obtain this visa. Alongside that, you will be required to pass a test that proves that you are fluent in Cantonese. Once you have obtained your permanent residency visa, you may be able to work in any companies without having to renew your work visa every time. If you do, however, do not stay in Hong Kong for more than 3 years afterward then your residency visa is nullified.
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